Please stop changing Mnemonics

I’ve noticed this mainly at the Enlightened > Burn stage.

So I’ve forgot parts of a Mnemonic for a kanji or vocab because it’s been so long, I get it wrong, click to remind myself of the Mnemonic and it’s been completely changed, for both the meaning and reading, now forcing me basically re-learn the thing from scratch. When all I needed was to be able to remind myself of a part of the original Mnemonic to get it to stick in my head.

It’s incredibly annoying when I’ve remembered 80% of a Mnemonic but there’s just a little part that isn’t sticking, and I need to remind myself, and the entire thing has been changed. It’s now harder for me to learn the new Mnemonic because when the kanji or vocab comes around, I’ve fighting between two Mnemonics in my head.

On the other side of things, I have had the same happen but the new Mnemonic has been way better than the original making it stick in my head much better, so it’s not all bad.

But is there not some way of implementing something that lets us decide if we want to keep the old Mnemonic? Like some sort of history for Mnemonics that we can select from? Even just an email with the changed Mnemonics so that we could then copy and paste from the email into our own custom Mnemonic If we want to keep the old one.

1 Like

I’ve not once used a mnemonic past the guru stage, not once. Am I the weird one?


No, I’m the same. I would guess most people are too. 95% of the time I don’t need them. I guess it’s kind of minor but for those very few times I do still need to go through the Mnemonic In my head to remember, it annoys me to see it’s been changed.

I personally never use the mneumonics unless the item becomes a big leech, then they can help. I often make my own mneunomics if I need to. Making them offensive or funny makes them stick in my head more :smiling_imp:

1 Like

I probably have less than a handful of items I used the mnemonics for. Only for a quick mental map to stop making the same mistake over and over again. If you need to rely on seeing part of the mnemonic on an enlightened item to get it, you should probably just mark it wrong anyways and start from scratch with a new approach or just brute force it in.


t looks like they kept the old mnemonics on-site for about 2 years:

I guess that’s not a huge amount of time when you’re at the ready-to-burn stage though.

You can still look them up on this list though, do a ctrl-F (or cmd-F on Macs) and paste in the character you’re looking for.


Man that list is great! I tried googling for old WK stuff but I guess I wasn’t good enough. Finally can get my nailbats and Jews back :stuck_out_tongue:


I noticed this too, even though I only started WK in January. I frequently add custom meanings - additional meanings I found in the dictionary or in the case of existing radicals I add the official meaning for consistency.
However, during the overhaul many of my custom meanings seem to have been deleted and it’s really annoying when I get them wrong now. Just yesterday I was about to burn the kanji 出 and it didn’t accept ‘leave’ as a meaning, so it went back to the guru stage :unamused:


That would’ve been my suggestion as well.

That wouldn’t be very practical honestly.

Announcements are usually made on the forums here. See @kimera 's post :slight_smile:

Where I think WaniKani still has plenty of room to improve is being more accepting of alternative meanings and adding them straight away. I get that the system is supposed to be streamlined for very specific mnemonic-based transitions from radical to kanji to reading/meaning, but because the mnemonic stories are waaay too long and convoluted and because people differ in their perceptions and preferences, being too strict in the design is not a good idea.

That’s something for the mods to look at, I believe. @Mods is it possible for an assigned user synonym to be automatically removed by a synonym clean-up you guys did on the backend side?

1 Like

They could easily implement a simple workaround, which would be to copy the old mnemonic and append it to each user’s custom Meaning Notes (and increasing the character limit on such notes as necessary). At least the original mnemonic you learned would not be lost, and you could just remove the old one if you prefer the new one.

There are of course better ways to implement this, but I’m just saying that they don’t have to change anything fundamental in order to do a basic workaround implementation of the desired feature request.

For a while after the 2019 radical overhaul, there was a setting to “show old mnemonics”, available to already established users. It lasted for like a year, then disappeared. It had its own little section, separate from user meaning notes.


Thanks for the ping, I think this is unlikely though.

Do you have any other examples of this? If so would you mind sending us an email to with as much info as you can think of and we’ll look into what might have happened.


I’ve burned (たも)つ ages ago [1] and I still have to remember the reading by thinking “alright that’s the tomato word with the first two vowels switched” tomato → tamoto :durtle_tomato:

  1. image ↩︎


It appears that this one is from () + ()つ.


Oh, that will help with remembering it – thanks. (I think 手綱 is the only other word I know offhand where 手 is pronounced た.)